ICTU warning on Partnership pay echoes Sinn Féin prediction
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers Rights Arthur Morgan TD, indicating that Sinn Féin is in agreement with many of the points in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions pre-budget submission, said that Sinn Féin had warned prior to its ratification of Towards 2016 that the pay increases would in all likelihood by wiped out by inflation. Deputy Morgan said that it was unfortunate that ICTU had not flexed in muscle to ensure that unfair energy price hikes were ruled out prior to the ratification of the deal.
The Louth TD said: “The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) in its pre-budget submission 2007 has warned that pay increases agreed under the new social partnership agreement Towards 2016 are in danger of being wiped out. Prior to the ratification of that agreement Sinn Féin made clear our view that this was a poor deal for workers, particularly for low paid workers.
“We predicted that the pay increases which the deal offered - an increase of 10% over 27 months, working out at annualised increases of 4.4% at a time when inflation is running at 3.9% and increasing - would be wiped out within months. At that time the ESB and Board Gáis had already sought the unjustified increases which have since been sanctioned by the Energy Regulator.
“ICTU is therefore right to demand reform the regulatory system which governs price increases for gas and electricity consumers and can be assured of our support. There are a range of other measures in Congress’ pre-budget submission Sinn Féin supports, such as the call for an end to tax breaks for private hospital developers, the introduction of paid paternity leave, extension of medical cards and opposing the removal of stamp duties.”